WV Farm Bureau Magazine November 2014 | Page 16

New Law: Transfer on Death Deed Emily R. Lambright A new West Virginia law now enables real property to pass simply and directly to a beneficiary, without going through probate. The new law, called the West Virginia Transfer on Death Act, is in line with the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (URPTODA), which has been adopted by more than a dozen 16 West Virginia Farm Bureau News states across the country. The new law’s impact touches nearly all West Virginia residents seeking to leave their real property (often their major asset) – such as a house, farm, or oil and gas mineral rights – to their children or other beneficiaries. It is expected to become an important tool in estate planning, nursing home planning, Medicaid planning and Elder Law. The Transfer on Death Act builds upon existing state statutes, where an individual routinely passes personal property to a named beneficiary outside of probate. Common examples include a beneficiary designation in a life insurance policy or pension plan, registration of securities in a transfer on death (TOD) form, and a payable on death bank account. The new law also details the operation and effect of the TOD deed and provides a